What’s for dinner?
How many times a week do we hear or ask this? On a tight budget but need to fill your family’s bellies with nutritious AND delicious food? Tired of the same dishes and need to awaken your taste buds? Sometimes this is such a tall order. First of all, eggplant is not only a versatile fruit, and yes, I said fruit (not vegetable), it has so many health benefits.
Eggplant contains many nutrients that are essential for our health and it’s low in fat and cholesterol. It is a great source of Vitamins B1, B3 and B6, potassium, manganese, copper, folate, magnesium and tryptophan.
Just a cup of cooked eggplant contains about 30 calories. Eggplants also contain phytochemicals that strengthen health.
Eggplant Parmesan provides a healthy dose of vitamin A, approximately 25 to 29 percent of the daily requirements needed. This vitamin provides a variety of eye benefits and helps us to make antibodies that strengthen our immune systems. We recieve up to 17 percent of the daily recommended intake of calcium and 10 to 13 percent of the vitamin C needed daily as well. One of my favorite things about eggplant is that is is filling and provides satiety. Or as my Grandma used to say, food that sticks to your ribs😍!
Eggplant Parmesan Recipe:
What you will need🍆🍴
2-3 medium size eggplants
1/2 cup of cornmeal
1 cup of flour
Seasonings & herbs: salt, black pepper, paprika, granulated or garlic powder, dried oregano and dried parsley
3 cups of your favorite homemade or store bought spaghetti sauce
1 cup of parmesan cheese
1 cup of mozzarella cheese (1/2 c to decrease fat and calories)
Sunflower or olive oil
▶Make a dry batter for the eggplant by adding the cornmeal, flour, about 1/3 teaspoons of salt and about 1/2 teaspoon of all other seasonings (black pepper, granulated or garlic powder, oregano, paprika and parsley. Tweek to your taste buds keeping in mind that you will also season the eggplant pieces as well.
▶Wash and dry your eggplants thoroughly.
I enjoy the fiber and nutrients received from the skin of the eggplant so your choice to peel or leave it as is.
▶Slice the eggplant (about 1/4 inch in thickness) then cut the circularly sliced pieces in 1/2 and place in a large bowl.
▶Season to taste with the above seasonings, making sure not to oversalt (I suggest sprinkling lightly with each seasoning listed above).
▶Crack 2 eggs and beat them in a small bowl. Pour the beaten eggs over the seasoned eggplant slices and thoroughly coat each piece by mixing with your hands.
▶Ok OLD SCHOOLERS, get a large and clean disposable sack or large freezer bag/paper sack and place dry batter in it. Next place your eggplant pieces. It’s great to include your children in this part of the process. Close the bag by holding the opening firmly and just shake like crazy 😆until you see all eggplant pieces are coated thoroughly with egg and dry batter.
▶Bake the pieces in a few large baking pans that are generously oiled with sunflower/olive oil, making sure also to lay the pieces flat and add oil on top of them as well to help them to cook more crispy and not mushy. Bake 25-30 minutes at 175 °C /375°or so F and take them out to turn them over. Return to bake another 20 minutes or so (oven cooking times may vary).
▶Take a medium size baking pan and lightly coat it with cooking oil (olive/sunflower)
▶Now place a thin layer of your spaghetti sauce followed by a layer of eggplant pieces then a thin layer of mozzarella cheese.
Continue to layer in this order (usually makes about 4 layers).
The last layer should be topped with a generous layer of sauce on top of the eggplant followed by all of the parmesan cheese. Sprinkle lightly with seasonings and dried herbs again except for salt.
▶Bake at the above temperature until cheeses are melted (about 20 minutes). Remove and let sit about 10 minutes and serve. I hope you enjoy my version of this tasty dish!
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